Unique Budapest - Tematic tours

In the footsteps of Franz Liszt



Connected to his 200th birthday in 2011, we put together a tour introducing our outstanding composer’s bonds with Budapest. We visit the places where Ferenc Liszt lived, stayed, gave concerts or prayed.
He made himself at home in several European cities, however, one of his “headquarters” was Budapest where his “Hungarian heart” brought him back to from time to time. We visit, among others, the Franciscan Church in the downtown where a little memorial plaque commemorates that “Ferenc Liszt lifted his soul up to the Almighty here in his daily prayer”.
During this special UniqueBudapest tour, several interesting pieces of information, stories and anecdotes are told about the Master and Budapest of his time. You can get to know his hosts and what his favourite meal was! Meet the Musician with a colourful life, the self-confident artist through whose personality and works you can not only learn about the music of the era but also about various fields of the 19th century Hungarian and European culture as well as society.

Villas, urban mansions
    
 

What connects a school in Budapest and the Manhattan project? Sometime around 1940, the Los Alamos Laboratory, known as „Project Y”, was conceived. The United States wanted to build an atomic explosive to counter the threat posed by the German nuclear development program...One day when the greatest physicists and mathematicians of the time were working on the super-secret Manhattan Project, Enrico Fermi, the leader of the project, left the room. One of the others suggested, “Let’s continue the discussion in Hungarian.” As all the other scientists were Hungarians. Moreover, they had all attended Budapest’s famous Lutheran Grammar School. A certain Mr Rácz was their legendary Maths teacher.
This UniqueBudapest walking tour introduces you to Budapest’s most fascinating contemporary stories, legends and myths will take you back to the enchanted garden of the turn of the century. Following West-European patterns, the aristocracy and the upper middle class had wonderful Classicist, Eclectic and Art Nouveau mansions, villas and schools constructed. The spectacular buildings flanking the city centre’s main axis, Andrássy Avenue, reflect that era. Part of the stunning façades, carved entrances and breathtakingly beautiful interiors has revived in the past decades.

City - Centre Treasures       



Plenty of hidden treasures. Gateways for carriages, apartment houses with inner courtyards, tiny shops preserving their century-old beauty, squares and cafés evoking Parisian atmosphere, Art Nouveau palaces, passages being reanimated, cheerful statues. And a lot more, interesting and astounding sights...
There are several magnificent buildings in Budapest’s city centre. Without even mentioning anything else, the 150-year-old Gerbeaud stands at the capital’s focal point. Queen Elisabeth II, Princess Diana, Queen Beatrix of Holland, Madonna, Ralph Fiennes, Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas have all been here
We could also mention the recently restored Március 15-e tér (March 15th square) where you can “follow” the Danube’s route in Hungary carved into stone. The river used to be the border of the Roman Empire, with settlement on its sides. In the place of the square itself, the watch-tower of Contra Aquicum used to stand playing an important role in the fight against pagan tribes. You can find so-called Danube and GPS stones all along the „New Main Street” running across the historical downtown and the heart of modern Budapest as well.
Let us walk around the city’s everday wonders, beauties that cannot be seen elsewhere! This is what a UniqueBudapest tour is like.

Danube Bank Stories

  
   

Budapest is the queen of the Danube. She would not exist without the river. The Danube has defined and pampered the city for a thousand years. The meeting of the river and the city is nowhere as intensive and beautiful as in the Pest city centre.
Memories of nearly all the milestones of Hungarian history are condensed here. The most popular king even today was crowned on the ice of the Danube- according to the legend, the most amazing bridges span the river, the Hungarian Parliament, Academy of Sciences and the mansions of the Danube embankment can all be found here.
The Central Market, “Budapest’s stomach” since 1897, is one of the city’s most charming and “popular” buildings. At that time Budapest had five big market halls, all built in the same style and all opened on the same day. This is the biggest, hence the name ‘Central’. In former times, barges came under the market hall via a 120-metre-long tunnel directly from the Danube, thus the products were unloaded directly off-boat. Look around! Here you will find the finest Hungarian red paprika, salami and sausages.
Register for this personal UniqueBudapest walking tour which leads you between the two most beautiful bridges of Hungary. We will show you several fascinating, tragic and interesting sites, as well as tell you moving and amusing stories. At the same time you can also enjoy the captivating view of Buda!

Art Nouveau, Eclectic Style and Culture  

   

What is Classicism or Modern architecture for other cities, is Eclectic style for Budapest. Undoubtedly, this style fits the city best – a bit of this, a bit of that, an idea from here and an example from there. A mixture and a variety, just like the population of the capital – a colourful medley of Germans, Turks, Slovaks, Jews and Hungarians. But watch out, in the course of a century Budapest’s Eclectic style has matured to become classical and noble – like its contemporary, Art Nouveau, which had only a short span in Budapest but which nevertheless is present with enviable masterpieces.
The underground line under Sugár (today Andrássy) Avenue, the ‘subsurface railway’ as it was originally called, opened as the first on the Continent in 1896 and represented one of the most significant events of the time. Emperor Francis Joseph, who was in Budapest for Hungary’s Millenary celebrations, inspected the railway. With his entourage he travelled in the royal carriage, made specially for him, from the terminus in Gizella (today Vörösmarty) Square to the Zoo. Come with us and we will guarantee to show you their most fascinating examples in Hungary. In addition, you will also be part of a personal, unique, cultural tour taking you to galleries and statues, and hear colourful stories connected to them.

Secrets of the Jewish Quarter  

    

Once upon a time there was a Jewish Budapest inhabited by more than two hundred thousand in its heyday. Many of them lived in a geographically well-defined area still referred to as the Jewish quarter. In a later, tragic period the ghetto was established here. The traces and mementos of the bygone eras, sometimes a bit rundown, can still be seen – restaurants, prayer rooms, ritual baths, kosher bakeries, synagogues of various sizes, cemeteries, butchers and confectionaries – all imprints of a former, prosperous age. 
During the tour you can also learn about the history of “Hungary’s Schindler”, Carl Lutz. Lutz worked as a deputy consul at Budapest’s Swiss Embassy from 1942 to 1945. Like the Swede Raoul Wallenberg, the papal legate Angelo Rotta and the Italian Giorgio Perlasca, Carl Lutz organised his life-saving mission from his office in the building of the American Legation in Budapest. He also played a prominent role in getting the so-called “Auschwitz Protocol” abroad.
The Budapest Jewish Quarter – part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List – is alive again. During our tour full of stories, the history of central Europe’s largest Jewish community comes to life and besides the dramas we also introduce you to the beauty and locations of everyday life, even get a glimpse into the world of the “ruin-pubs”.

Unique Deluxe



Did you know that the flower pattern Jensen Button is wearing is actually a Hungarian folk motif? Did you know that Hungary had a flourishing perfume industry at the turn of the 19th and 20th century? Did you know that the first department store built in Budapest had an ice-skating rink on top?
Watch out! Hungarians are extremely creative folk. Following ancient traditions we have again emerged in the world of fashion and design recently. Local designers, chocolate shops and the “Hungarian Nose” are preparing more and more trendy stuff and are present in the Paris, Milan, New York shows.  During UniqueBudapest’s Unique Deluxe tour you can take part in a time travel and gain an insight into the world of trades and those representing them today as well as the development and changes of fashion in Hungary. Our guide takes you to showrooms, workshops and shops where the designers themselves show you the latest and ever-green trends. Discover the genuine treasures of today’s Hungarian applied artists, join us to learn about the world of creation, design and pure perfume!

The Retro Period   



Once upon a time there were the 1960s, 70s and 80s. Socialism, “the happiest barrack”, party congresses, politics, the victorious working class and “Stalin Baroque”.  At the same time there was a parallel world – bakelite records, mini skirts, neon advertising, soda-water, the new Bauhaus – in other words, Budapest retro.
This is a real time travel. We show you the city’s retro hot spots and the underground, a product of the “great Soviet Union”, which connects them. You will experience the link between the “best trainers of socialism” and the red star of the pub counter. A world where phone was a luxury products and took decades to get one. Culture: work of arts categoriesd as “accepted, tolerated and forbidden”. The Pest folk were sitting in the “Presszó”- the Café of the time- and were drinking “simple” or “double” coffee… It would be a shame to miss!
Stories about the everyday life or " the way we used to live back then"...
 
Pest by Night 

 


 
“Seen Budapest at night yet?” Thus began an old Hungarian hit. Our night-time wander and entertainment begins in Budapest’s Montmarte and Soho where, in addition to several restaurants and cafes, there are also small galleries and boutiques.
The latest trend of Budapest is the so-called “ruin-pub” when young businessmen, artists create venues for social use in abandoned buildings before demolition. Youth fill these places, especially in the summer. The most well-known and first of all ruin-pubs is the Szimpla. One summer three young men converted a one-time locksmith’s workshop, installed a gallery and painted the walls on their own, asking friends to contribute with furniture…This is what makes the place how we know it now- cosy and this has become trendy.
Experience Budapest by night walking!

The Mysteries of Castle district



The Castle is a separate quarter in the middle of the city. Beside her many winding streets, there used to be more than 285 wells underground, 13 kings paid their visit from 15 different nations... The hill is actually hollow hiding caves. There are several legends and scary stories connected to them. Once it was said that some Turkish pashas walled their odalisques up when got bored with them. Later on many searched for the treasures left behind by the Turks- futile efforts. The haunted dwelling place of the so-called “black counts” were also imagined to be there in the past centuries. Today’s researchers, however, did not find odalisques, nor treasure or the counts’ skeletons.
You can explore plenty of interesting details, mystical stories and a real royal experience in the heart of the city- what’s more can also get to know what the interior of the Royal Palace looked like, what Queen Elizabeth had for breakfast and what animal was king Matthias’ pet!

Kayak Tour on the Danube    



Crown your stay in Budapest in an extraordinary way! See the queen of the Danube from a sea kayak!
Not only do our two weather-beaten guides look after your safety, they also highlight the most interesting parts of Hungarian history and culture. Few people know that the Margitsziget (Margaret island) used for recreation nowadays, used to be a bustling religious centre and 8 monasteries could be found there at the time. Later on, the “Hungarian Habsburg”, Palatine Joseph created a holiday resort to please one of his wives. Then a thermal water spring was found leading to the building of baths. The swimming-pool named after our first Olympic champion, Alfréd Hajós, was actually designed by himself and has hosted a European Swimming Champhionship recently…
The bridges, listed buildings, islands and the hidden world of the Danube bank provide an unforgettable experience on the river. No need for water experience or skill!

Cycling in the city



Culture, marvellous unknown stories at well-known places, cycle with us and we will show you the city the way you have never seen before…You must have heard about the Heroes’ square and the Municipal Park surrounding it, but you don’t know there was once an African village and could see the city from a gigantic balloon. You must have read about Pest downtown, but haven’t seen the beehives and Hermes heads on the facades. You must have seen pictures of the Castle district, but don’t know where the ruins of the medieval synagogue is or of the university founded by king Matthias.
… may it be in Pest or Buda, let your heart beat together with the city! Go sightseeing in Budapest in a unique way!


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